Nelson's Stilwell brothers, Julian and Philip, are reprising their double act when they both compete in round one of the national Formula 1 powerboat series in Cromwell.
It has been a couple of seasons since both ran boats in the same year, with Cambridge-based younger brother Philip sitting out all of last season after a barrel roll in 2011 in the Formula 2 series. Having just won the national F2 title, Philip's accident happened at the following regatta, the North Island championships on Lake Karapiro, while contesting an F1 race.
But he's back on the water this year in the second of the Stilwell Brothers Racing Team's boats, Acceleration on Water.
He's backing up 33-year-old Julian's 2.5 litre Mercury-powered Scott Construction-sponsored boat after serious engine problems put an end to Julian's hopes of a top-three finish after the final round of the New Zealand F1 Tour was held at Lake Kaniere in April this year.
The event had doubled as the New Zealand Powerboat nationals, and Julian had been lying third heading into the weekend. After drawing pole position for heat one of the NZ F1 Tour race, an excellent start saw him take a commanding lead over the field. However, his title hopes came to an abrupt end when a broken connecting-rod caused major engine damage to his boat.
The Cromwell regatta is on November 24-25, followed by rounds at Lake Karapiro on February 2-3 and Tauranga on February 17-18. The New Zealand Powerboat Association nationals are in Cromwell next March.
- The Nelson Mail